Cincinnati Playhouse to Present A DELICATE SHIP, 3/22-4/20
The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park launches the third world premiere of its 2013-14 season, Anna Ziegler's humorous and heartbreaking memory play, A DELICATE SHIP, March 22 through April 20 in the Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre.
On Christmas Eve, Sarah and Sam are wrapped up in their still-new love when a knock on the door shatters their relationship fog. The arrival of Nate, Sarah's friend and former neighbor from childhood, embodies the third point of a complicated love triangle. The emotional tides then turn in unexpected ways that permanently change the lives of all three of them.
"It's an adult play for thoughtful and adventurous audiences," says Playhouse Artistic Director Blake Robison. "Many of our patrons look to the Shelterhouse for just this sort of serious work. Anna is one of a group of young, female playwrights who are taking the American theatre by storm. She brings her own delicate and unique perspective to character, story and relationships on stage."
Anna Ziegler's A DELICATE SHIP is the ninth mainstage world premiere by a female playwright that the Playhouse has produced in the 21st century.
"It's important to support women artists - to tell their stories and to hear their voices on stage," says Robison. "Historically, theatre has championed plays by male writers. I'm very proud that the Playhouse has produced works by many of today's most exciting female playwrights, from Anna to Deborah Zoe Laufer, Carson Kreitzer, Melanie Marnich, Theresa Rebeck and others."
Ziegler's plays include Photograph 51, Dov and Ali, Another Way Home, The Minotaur, BFF, Novel, Evening All Afternoon and Life Science. Photograph 51, which explored real-life physicist Rosalind Franklin's contributions to the discovery of the DNA double helix, won the 2008 STAGE International Competition for the best script about science and technology. Ziegler also has been honored with the Edgerton New American Play Award, for Another Way Home, and the Douglas T. Ward Playwriting Prize, which was awarded by New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, from which she earned an MFA.
"One of the things that drew me to A DELICATE SHIP is the way Anna plays with time," says Playhouse Associate Artist Michael Evan Haney, who is directing the play. "One of the themes she explores is how the past, present and future are all happening within us at the same time. The play is realistic with surreal overtones."
"I find this form really freeing," Ziegler says of the memory play structure of A DELICATE SHIP. "It allows me to tell a story that's happening in real time without being limited by what dialogue and information would be naturally spoken and revealed during the specific window of the story. I can reach back into the past, or steal from the future, to give the present day more dimension and meaning. It's a bit more like a novel in that sense, which, in turn, is more similar to the way we actually live - we never truly exist, frozen, in a particular time; every experience harkens back to something else, or makes us hope for, or fear, something in the future."
Making their Playhouse debuts in A DELICATE SHIP are Janie Brookshire as Sarah and Karl Miller as Nate. Ben Diskant, who portrays Sam, was seen as Frank Jr. in the Playhouse's 2012 production of Merrily We Roll Along. The creative team includes Narelle Sissons as the set designer, Gordon DeVinney as the costume designer, Kirk Bookman as the lighting designer and Fabian Obispo as the sound designer/composer. Becky Merold is the stage manager.
A DELICATE SHIP is sponsored by Bartlett & Co. The artist sponsor is Gallagher SKS, and additional support is provided by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The production honors the support of Leon Meyer. Prices range from $30 to $80, depending on performance date and seat location. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. Teen and student tickets are $25 each. Previews are at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 22; 7 p.m. Sunday, March 23; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26. The official opening night is Thursday, March 27, at 8 p.m.